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Molson Pace Notes And Quotes

Published: May 28, 2009 9:16 pm ET

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A star-studded line-up will be on display on Friday evening in London, Ontario as Western Fair Raceway plays host to its marquee event – the Molson Pace.

The 12-race program also features a $130,000 OSS Gold Series Final for three-year-filly pacers and an assortment of Preferred events.

Here are quotes from the connections of some of the horses racing on the program:

Frank Dettore of North Ridgeville, Ohio, owner of defending Molson Pace champion Eagle Luck:

"He's a hard hitter that's made a million dollars for us. Gregg and Doug McNair have done one heck of a job with him. If he's only slightly improved than he has been lately he'll be heard from. I'm completely in favour of (19-year-old) Doug McNair driving the 'Eagle' for us on Friday night. Doug is hands on with this horse almost every day and he knows him better than anyone. Plus Doug has quickly become one of the best in that London driving colony. We think Eagle Luck will go on to a fine stud career. We have three beautiful fillies by him from the test breedings already."

Ron Burke, trainer of probable Molson Pace favourite Foiled Again:

"I'm going to try to find a way to watch or hear the race here in Sweden since I'm over at the Elitlopp with Buck I St Pat. I was really happy with his win in the Molson Pace elimination. We're staying with Jody Jamieson to drive over Yannick Gingras since Jody is leading up there and might get a little more respect than if we flew in Yannick for this one race. Plus, with what happened to Maltese Artist we thought it was the right thing to do to give Jody this chance. People should know too that Foiled Again is not a one dimensional horse just because of how he's won this year. Some of his best races last year were first over at Chester. Looking past the Molson Pace I'm anxious to get him to the big tracks to see just what he's capable of this year."

Jason Brewer, driver of Silent Swing in the Molson Pace and OSS Gold finalist St. Lads Popcorn:

"It's always great to go back to London. With the 2007 season I had there it makes it like a homecoming to see old friends and a lot of people that had put me down to drive. The last time I drove Silent Swing it was for (his original owner-trainer) Jack Darling in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series final at Windsor in 2005. Now, he's gone to make over $1.2 million. He's got a big turn of speed and we'll need some things to go our way from out in post six. It'll be a big surprise to me and everyone if Foiled Again doesn't try to go wire to wire. As for St. Lads Popcorn in the Gold final, she had a start she really needed last week and she just got out sprinted up to the wire. She hasn't changed much from when she set the two year old track record in London last November (1:55.3), she's just matured a bit."

(note: Jason Brewer became the only driver in Western Fair history to surpass 200 wins in a single calendar year, 2007.)

Jamieson Makes The TV News

London's TV station, the A-Channel affiliate, is setting up a live remote for it's sportscast in the Friday supper hour news. Sports Director Norman James will interview Jody Jamieson live from trackside at about 6:50 p.m. and get the driver's insights on his pending chances in the Molson Pace with probable favourite Foiled Again.

Distinguished Parade Marshall

Western Fair is pleased to have Nancy Stephens of Woodstock returning as Parade Marshall for the 2009 Molson Pace program.

"I'll be riding a retired standardbred I have as a pet, Tornado Travis, on Friday night in London" Nancy says. "I'm going to dress festively. This is a big honour to lead out all these great horses on post parade."

Nancy, and her husband Marty are avid owners and currently co-own the three year old Ontario Sires Stakes trotter Lukas Rossi. Nancy often donates her expertise as a parade marshall at Ontario racetrack fundraisers for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Stubbs Returns To The Broadcast

Returning as trackside interviewer and co-host for the Molson Pace program broadcast is Mike Stubbs. In the London market, Mike is one of the best known radio voices as the play-by-play announcer of junior hockey's London Knights. Mike also anchors the weekday afternoon drive time slot from 4-6 p.m. on CJBK 1290AM. This week, Mike is subbing for Steve Garrison on the morning show. Between 6-9 a.m. on Friday, Mike and CJBK Sports Director Pete James will be devoting several segments to previews of the Molson Pace card at Western Fair.

Molson Pace starter stats:

Most half mile track career wins:
Foiled Again – 12

Most career wins at Western Fair:
Stormaway – 5

Most career earnings in the 2009 field:
Silent Swing - $1,246,389

The other millionaire in the field:
Eagle Luck - $1,002,564

Fastest career half mile track win:
Silent Swing - 1:50.3

Drivers in the 2009 field with a previous Molson Pace win:
Chris Christoforou (Ramegade Bruiser). Canada's 'Golden Greek' won in 2007 with Rare Jewel and Trevor Henry (Lyons Geoff) won in 2008 with Eagle Luck

2009 trainers with a previous Molson Pace win:
Casie Coleman, 2006, Our Lucky Killean and Gregg McNair, 2008, Eagle Luck.

2009 sires of Molson Pace starters - Ontario dominates with 7 of 8:
Camluck: Eagle Luck, Lucky Man
Northern Luck: Stormaway, Silent Swing
Astreos: Lyons Geoff
Grinfromeartoear: Clowns Smile
Rambaran: Ramegade Bruiser

Dragon Again (Pennsylvania) is the sire of Foiled Again.

Driver Age Range:
Youngest driver in the 2009 Molson Pace: Doug McNair, 19. (born December of 1989)

Oldest driver in the 2009 Molson Pace:
Dan Megens, 49. (born October of 1959)

Historic trivia:

First winner of the Molson Pace:
Jack Kopas, 1972, Key Ones Uno, 2:04.3. The inaugural edition's purse was $7,500.

First 2:00 win in the Molson Pace:
1975, Derbys Gent, (2:00.0),for trainer-driver John Campbell. A track record at the time. The 1975 purse was $15,000.

First sub-2:00 win in the Molson Pace:
1978, Jambo Dancer (1:59.1), driver Ron Feagan, trainer John Grant.

Molson Pace - Most wins by a driver:
Dave Wall - 5. (Rock N Wave '79; Monkey Wrench '84; Staff Director '85; Jagger Hanover '90; Such Sparkle '94.)
Doug Brown - 4 (Lime Time '81; Perfect Out '82; Triple S '83; Cross County ' 90.)
Don McElroy - 3 (Armbro La Bamba '95; Hogans Heroes '96; Intrepid Seelster '01.)

Molson Pace - Most wins by a trainer:
Bob McIntosh - 3 (Bond Street '89; Intrepid Seelster '01; Ponder '05.)
Bill Robinson - 3 (Lime Time '81; Next Knight Out '86; Cross County '91.)

2009 Molson Pace program total purses: $545,000 - 2nd highest single card purse total in Western Fair history dating to April, 1961. Only June 1, 2007, at $557,800 was higher.

(Western Fair Raceway)

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